Antibiotics are a group of medicines that are used to treat infections caused by bacteria and certain parasites. They are sometimes called antibacterials. Antibiotics can be taken by mouth as liquids, tablets, or capsules, or they can be given by injection. Usually, people who need to have an antibiotic by injection are in hospital because they have a severe infection. Antibiotics are also available as creams, ointments, or lotions to apply to the skin to treat certain skin infections. It is important to remember that antibiotics only work against infections that are caused by bacteria and certain parasites. They do not work against infections that are caused by viruses (for example, the common cold or flu), or fungi (for example, thrush in the mouth or vagina), or fungal infections of the skin.
Here are some common ailments which you can cure with over-the-counter meds so you can prevent potential antibiotic resistance and harmful side effects.
What to do: Treat pain with an over-the-counter analgesic like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn).
When to see a doctor: If you or your child has a fever above 100.4°; if there's any discharge from the ears; or if symptoms don't improve after two to three days. Check in with your M.D. sooner if the discomfort is severe.
2. Sore Throat
What to do: Soothe the irritation with ice chips, lozenges or moisture from a humidifier or vaporizer; you can also take an OTC pain reliever.
When to see a doctor: If symptoms don't improve after five days, or get worse after two to three. A fever over 100.4°, pus at the back of the throat, difficulty swallowing or recent contact with someone who has strep throat warrants a visit. Your doctor …
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